Shocker: Fox host calls out Republicans who blocked 9/11 responders bill

By David Edwards
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:54 EDT
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At least one Fox News host is willing to hold Republicans accountable for blocking a bill that would provide health benefits to 9/11 first responders.

Fox News’ Shepard Smith called out Republicans by name Thursday, placing individual responsibility for their successful filibuster of the bill and refusals to come on his show to talk about it.

While Smith noted that they blocked the bill “in lockstep.”

“We called a lot of Republicans today, who are in office at the moment,” he said. “These are the one who told us no: Sens. Alexander, Barrasso, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Grassley, Kyl, McConnell, Sessions, Bacchus, Gregg, and Inhofe.”

In addition, Sens. Bunning, Coburn, Ensign, Graham, Hatch, and McCain failed to respond to his request at all.

“I’m not really surprised, but what is your take? Why does no one want to talk about this?” Smith asked former Republican Gov. of New York George Pataki.

“I can’t tell you why they didn’t come on and talk about it but I do believe that it’s important that the Senate act and I hope they act before they break,” Pataki said.

House Resolution 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, would provide $7 billion in benefits to workers that responded to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Many of those workers are now experiencing health problems such as cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

For his part, Smith seems to be the exception at Fox News, where only one other personality has gotten angry about the 9/11 first responders bill — but he neglected to mention that Republicans were the reason for its failure.

“Shame, embarrassment, outrage, anger, all are proper reactions to the conduct of our Senators, who will now find one excuse after another to explain away the fact that they have turned their back on American heroes,” Peter Johnson Jr. said last week. “Heroes whose only sin was to expect nothing for their service and were then promised the world by politicians who couldn’t take enough pictures with them.”

While other mainstream media outlets have yet to cover 9/11 responders during their nightly news coverage of the lame duck session, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart devoted his final show of the year to the subject.

Stewart noted that the only network that fully covered the topic was Al-Jazeera.

“Our networks were scooped with a sympathetic Zadroga Bill story by the same network Osama bin Laden sends his mix-tapes to!” he exclaimed. “This is insane!”

This video is from Fox News’ Studio B, broadcast Dec. 19, 2010.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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